If you’re a parent who was recently diagnosed with cancer, you may be facing a whirlwind of emotions. That being said, even if you’ve made it into remission, cancer is likely forcing you to take a new look at how you go about your day-to-day life. Parenting while living with cancer is even more challenging than parenting regularly is, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an impossible task. Here are a few tips for how to go about living with cancer as a parent.
Support comes in many forms, and you should never be ashamed to ask for help from someone else. This is useful advice to parents of all stripes but becomes increasingly important if you’re facing a serious medical condition like cancer. Of course, part of your support as a cancer patient will come from having the right cancer care oncologists in Rockville, MD, or wherever you’re located. Even so, your spouse, family members, and neighbors can also be a valuable source of support as a parent with cancer. Whether it’s getting some extra help taking your kids to and from school while balancing doctors’ appointments or getting help with errands like grocery shopping, never be afraid to ask for help as a parent! You may be surprised by just how many people are ready and willing to lend a helping hand during your time of need.
Get your child help
No matter how old your child is, they’ll likely be facing some complicated emotions as a result of your cancer diagnosis. Depression, anxiety, and insomnia are all common mental obstacles your son or daughter may experience as a result of finding out that their parent has a serious, life-threatening illness. Finding a therapist that focuses on elementary-aged children or adolescents can be crucial to keeping your family unit together during such a trying time. Searching for “child therapy in NYC” or wherever you and your family reside can help you find licensed therapists who are more than capable of helping your child navigate your diagnosis and any negative feelings they may experience because of it.
Reconsider what matters most to you
Part of being diagnosed with a chronic illness involves taking stock of what your values and priorities are as an individual as well as a parent. In days or years past, perhaps you spent a lot of time at work and had a nanny or babysitter pick your kids up from school. While you may still lean on that sort of person to help you with other aspects of running your household, getting diagnosed with cancer may help you realize that you want to negotiate a work-from-home solution once a week so that you can use your reduced commuting hours to be more involved in your child’s life. Maybe you even want to have your child or children get more involved with helping you prep and cook dinner, offering an opportunity to bond with your kid while teaching them valuable life skills.
In order to be an effective, positive parent, you need to feel like you have the time and energy to actually be a parent. Practicing self-care is a great way to give yourself the time and space to keep that part of your identity alive and nurtured. From taking a long bath with a luxurious bath bomb and glass of Bordeaux to finding time to continue your daily meditation habit, the right self-care routine can make a world of difference in keeping you positive while you face cancer. Even building self-care into one day of your week can be incredibly beneficial, and leave you feeling like you have the energy to be yourself and a parent.